Shepherd’s pie (meat-eating men approve)

I became a vegetarian back in January and it was quite the adjustment for me considering I was as carnivorous as they came. I have always loved to cook but when I became a vegetarian I literally had to re-teach myself how to do so. My meals use to consist of meat, starch and veggies, it was really quite a challenge to come up with hearty meals that didn’t just feel like a bunch of side dishes. But I must say roughly 7 months in I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it. Another really big adjustment in my new diet was making my boyfriend happy. Just because I don’t eat meat anymore doesn’t mean I want him to go hungry. I have always offered to cook meat for him in addition to whatever I am cooking but to my surprise he always declines.  The trick is to use ingredients that really satisfy your hunger. I am a big believer in getting your grains and greens every single day it will really do wonders for your digestive system and overall health. Anyways here is a recipe I found on however, being that I am not vegan and my boyfriend HATES mushrooms (I think it’s a guy thing?) I altered it a bit.

  • 5 russet potatoes, peeled
  • Milk, to taste
  • 2 tbs salted butter (I prefer earth balance butter its healthier and taste the same)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (always use fresh!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 can of black beans, drained
  • ½ can of corn, drained
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped or grated, stems and all2 carrots, chopped or grated
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup milk (I use soy or almond)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • nonstick spray (I have a mister that I fill with evoo)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (great staple for vegetarians)
  • 2 handfuls French fried onions
  • 1 handful of shredded cheddar cheese

Cook potatoes in boiling water. Mash cooked potatoes with as much milk as you need and lots of buttery spread to make them nice and creamy. Add some salt and pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder.

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic and onion over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the broccoli, carrots, corn, black beans and celery and cook until veggies start to wilt. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the broth and 3/4 cup milk along with the cornstarch and flour. Let the mixture come to a boil, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken up a bit. Season with salt and pepper if you need to. When all the vegetables are cooked, remove from heat.

Spray an 8″x8″ baking dish with nonstick oil spray or wipe with e.v.o.o., spread half the potatoes on the bottom of the dish and spoon the vegetable mixture onto the bottom and then cover with the potatoes and smooth them down.  Sprinkle the top with nutritional yeast, cheddar cheese and French fried onions. Heat in oven for 10 minutes or so until top is slightly firm and onions are browned.

Drink with a delicious pale ale!

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